Transponder prices rise 60% – perhaps

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One of the key statements in the latest World Teleport Association (WTA) report (Satellite Operator Benchmarks 2019) is that satellite transponder costs have risen, on average, by 60 per cent.

However, headline grabbing as it is, the actual prices charged by satellite operators for long-term leases are a long way from that suggested by the WTA.

The WTA report says that the reason for this apparent increase in leasing costs seems to be that teleport operators are buying in lower volume from satellite operators, with the strongest growth in annual commitments of less than 100 MHz.

The 2019 survey reports on nine global and regional satellite operators: ABS Global, Arabsat, AsiaSat, Eutelsat, Gazprom, Hispasat, Intelsat, SES and Telesat. ABS Global and Gazprom are new to the analysis this year.

Robert Bell, Executive Director and Report Author at WTA said: “Satellite operators have seen the future, and [that future] is in managed services. This makes commercial sense for them, because the value of networks lies not in connectivity but in the ability of that connectivity to solve problems or create opportunities for customers. Most teleport operators made this transition long ago, as the margins available from basic uplinking shrank to the vanishing point. With their satellite vendors now making the same move and ratcheting up the competitive pressure, teleports are in search for new efficiencies in their businesses and new roles in the market.”

This year the WTA says the majority trend for satellite operators was toward increased direct competition with teleport operators, according to respondents. Five of nine were cited for competing directly more often in 2019 than in 2015.


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